Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)



NACO controlled Corporate Body

University of North Florida. School of Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Donald T. Resio

Second Advisor

Dr. Christopher J. Bender

Third Advisor

Dr. Thobias Sando

Department Chair

Dr. Murat Tiryakioglu

College Dean

Dr. Mark A. Tumeo


Atmospheric features, such as tropical cyclones, act as a driving mechanism for many of the major hazards affecting coastal areas around the world. Accurate and efficient quantification of tropical cyclone surge hazard is essential to the development of resilient coastal communities, particularly given continued sea level trend concerns. Recent major tropical cyclones that have impacted the northeastern portion of the United States have resulted in devastating flooding in New York City, the most densely populated city in the US. As a part of national effort to re-evaluate coastal inundation hazards, the Federal Emergency Management Agency used the Joint Probability Method to re-evaluate surge hazard probabilities for Flood Insurance Rate Maps in the New York – New Jersey coastal areas, also termed the New York Bight. As originally developed, this method required many combinations of storm parameters to statistically characterize the local climatology for numerical model simulation. Even though high-performance computing efficiency has vastly improved in recent years, researchers have utilized different “Optimal Sampling” techniques to reduce the number of storm simulations needed in the traditional Joint Probability Method. This manuscript presents results from the simulation of over 350 synthetic tropical cyclones designed to produce significant surge in the New York Bight using the hydrodynamic Advanced Circulation numerical model, bypassing the need for Optimal Sampling schemes. This data set allowed for a careful assessment of joint probability distributions utilized for this area and the impacts of current assumptions used in deriving new flood-risk maps for the New York City area.